I hope your 2nd-5th grade students have mentioned that we have been preparing for the class spelling bees for a few weeks in the library. I also hope that they have been finding a few moments at home to study! Classroom spelling bees will happen the week of February 11th here in the library.
You might wonder why I’m so involved in the OQS Spelling Bee. Well, before I worked at Ottauquechee, I was involved in the first annual OQS Spelling Bee with a former teacher as a member of the PTO. As a staff member, I am able to take the responsibility of preparing the students for the bee (word study, tips, understanding the protocol and expectations for the actual bee) off the teachers and work it into the library curriculum. After all, libraries are nothing if not a place to appreciate wonderful words!
I think it is important that students have the opportunity to not only hone their spelling skills, but to also learn to take risks and for 99% of the competitors, fail! Failing isn’t something that comes easy to students, but the idea that every student in grades 2 through 5 will spell a word wrong at some point in the proceedings (except for the winner, and he or she might even luck out if the other spellers make the same mistake!) helps them realize that it’s okay to take this risk and give it their best! We celebrate each student as they exit the bee with applause, to acknowledge their bravery and perseverance as they prepared for the bee!
In addition, I believe it’s important to give the students who excel academically an opportunity to shine, just as those who have talent athletically or artistically are given a chance to highlight their successes. Additional rigor in the curriculum can be very exciting!
In addition to preparing for the Spelling Bee, February has a bookmark contest open to all OQS students, which began this week. Students can get a blank form in the library and will create a bookmark about the theme, Reading Is Cool! They must submit their bookmark back to me by Feb 14th. Finalists will be chosen by a group of staff that afternoon and will be announced Feb 15th.
The Scholastic Book Fair will be open on Feb 25th for the entire week before, during, and after school! Students will be able to make purchases at some point during the day of February 28th with their classes. The book fair will also be open during the Grand Spelling Bee that evening! Don’t forget that there will be We Love To Read Spirit Week that week, as well!
That’s all that is on my mind right now as we transition into February! What a wonderful, wordy winter we have in store for us!